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Jayanta Kapat, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Director, Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Zhihua Qu, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Amount Awarded

Funding: $1 million recurring; $5 million non-recurring

Matching Funds

Matching: $686,450 recurring; $6.2 million non-recurring

Colleges Represented

College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Sciences, Graduate Studies (School of Modeling Simulation and Training), Office of Research (Faculty Cluster Initiative)

Project Summary

Preserving the planet for future generations means investing in strategic sustainability measures and developing new technologies to reduce and eliminate emissions. A team led by Professors Zhihua Qu and Jay Kapat of the College of Engineering and Computer Science aims to make UCF a national leader in zero-emission energy systems and carbon-free economy by building its first zero-emission microgrid at the Research 1 building. The microgrid will supply uninterrupted power to Research 1, even during hurricanes or other extreme conditions. This project combines efforts to develop zero-emissions and resilient distribution grids together with research into hydrogen for aircraft fuel and other industrial uses.

Other goals include:

  • elevating the energy systems research already flourishing at UCF and exploring the rapidly developing fields of energy storage, emission-free power generation and aviation, and decarbonization;
  • pioneering hydrogen-based power generation and distribution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on UCF’s main campus;
  • implementing a separate research test loop at the microgrid for evaluating and demonstrating new and future devices, such as decarbonization, vehicular and grid technologies;
  • deploying digital twin technology for both the Research I building and its microgrid;
  • making the microgrid a living lab for undergraduate and graduate education and for multidisciplinary curricula;
  • and optimizing zero-emission technologies in power generation and transportation (including aviation, marine and heavy road transportation).

UCF’s team includes experts from UCF’s Center of Resilient, Intelligent and Sustainable Energy Systems (RISES) and Center for Advanced Turbomachinery & Energy Research (CATER) with support from UCF colleges along with private partners who are industry leaders.


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